Piping hot tea raises esophageal cancer risk

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Previous studies have established a link between hot tea drinking and the disease.

Adding cold milk to tea and coffee and waiting for hot drinks to cool could protect against oesophageal cancer, a study suggests.

According to a new study, regularly drinking very hot tea could increase the risk of oesophageal cancer.

The researchers compared drinking less than 700ml of tea per day at less than 60°C with drinking 700ml per day or more at 60°C or higher.

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The findings are particularly relevant for tea drinkers in regions where the beverage is customarily served hot, contrasting with the United States and Western Europe, where tea is usually consumed after having cooled down significantly.

The study, which was based in northeastern Iran, looked 50,045 individuals between the ages of 40 and 75. But this study, say the authors, is the first to pinpoint a specific temperature of tea.

Experts believe that hot drinks may damage the cells of the oesophagus, making it more vulnerable to other carcinogens, although this study did not... An article published in the journal Burns in 2016 found that a cup of tea with 10ml of milk cooled to less than 65 C in under five minutes. They found that the latter was associated with a 90 percent higher risk of oesophageal cancer. The Royal Society of Chemistry also recommends drinking tea at 60-65 degrees, while Northumbria University found that the flawless drinking temperature of tea - 60 C - is achieved six minutes after preparation.

Esophageal cancer is the eighth most common cancer in the world and is often fatal, killing approximately 400,000 people every year, according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

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It adds however that exact cause of oesophageal cancer is unknown.

'By focusing on the more general risk factors of smoking, obesity and alcohol, you can lower your risk of a whole range of cancers at once'.

The American Cancer Society estimates that there will be about 17,650 new cases of esophageal cancer this year - 13,750 in men and 3,900 in women - and 16,080 of those diagnosed will die from it.

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